Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

After stuffing myself with some good southern food laden with saturated fat yesterday, it was back to the office today. Office #2, that is.

Yesterday I went over to Atlanta to have Thanksgiving supper at my aunt's house. She prepared a savory meal just like my grandmother used to and wow, it was gratifying. Perhaps that was due to the copious amount of fat in the meal which became apparent upon inspection of the leftovers today...

Because I'm still apparently young enough to be considered "a growing young man," my aunt sent a plate home with me and when I took it out of the refrigerator today the green beans had white spots on them. No, it was not green bean casserole, just green beans. The white spots? Oh, that was just some congealed fat. Yummy.

So while I didnt have to work today and tomorrow looks like it will consist solely of football viewing, I went ahead and got in a 6k swim with the kids this morning before heading out for a 3h15 ride with some roadies. 3 of the 4 of us have power meters so although they were roadies, the ride was nice and steady and solidly paced. There are few things I despise more than going on an "endurance ride" with cyclists that consists of riding 15 mph on the flats with the occasional sprint up the hill. But yeah, its always great amazing how much quicker the time goes by when you have company.

And now its off to Surin for some sake and sushi. Should be yummy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

THE Sergio is THE man

Being the off season, it is the perfect time to go out and play with the roadies and in order to do that more effectively, I've made a couple of upgrades to the road bike. The most important and exciting was a new saddle courtesy of The Sergio. In case you can't tell from the pic, Sergio hooked me up with a white Fizik Arione which has made the last couple of rides quite enjoyable. (Of course now that I take a step back and look at the bike, I think I'm going to need to get some white bar tape as well to finish off the job...)

Other updgrades include a new chain and a set of Dinotte lights. The roadies here do a weeknight ride which, considering the sun is setting around 4:40, requires lights this time of year. While the lights help with the darkness, they do nothing to counteract the cold and for that reason I've resisted in partaking in the madness as of yet. However as long as it is reasonably warm riding outside will still beat the heck out of the dreaded trainer so at least I'll have that option.

Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Nov: 17-23

S: 22,200 yds
B: 6h 12min
R: 2h 40min

Total: 14h 25 min

Even though it was unseasonably cold this past weekend, I had a great ride on Saturday. It was my first real ride since Clearwater so I was actually fairly surprised with how good I felt. Additionally the temperature was around 50F but I really just wanted to get outside for a bit. After taking about 20 minutes to warm up, I got into a nice grove and powered through a pretty solid 2h. I was certainly ready to be done by the time I got home but there were moments when I was really enjoying being outside and moving fast.

I also got in a nice workout with the kids on Saturday morning where I was once again humbled by a girl who just got her braces off. Fun times.

Friday, November 21, 2008

PB love

This study, recently published in the Scandinavian Journal of Science & Medicine in Sports compared the effects concentration of glucose and fructose (and the ratio between the two) in a sports drink in order to determine the optimal concentrations and ratios while exercising. They found that a 2:1 glucose:fructose ratio was optimal, nothing that it "increases GE (gastric emptying)" and "resulted in lower ratings of perceived exertion." So what sports drink has a 2:1 GLU:FRU ratio? How about Powerbar Endurance! The stuff is awesome and this is just another study that proves it. FYI, I prefer the Fruit Punch flavor but the Lemon Lime is tasty as well. Neither is too sweet and both dissolve well. OTOH, I'd steer away from the Sun Tea unless you don't like any sweetness at all in your sports drink.

Title: Multiple transportable carbohydrates enhance gastric emptying and fluid delivery.

Abstract: This study compared the effects of ingesting water (WATER), an 8.6% glucose solution (GLU) and an 8.6% glucose+fructose solution (2:1 ratio, GLU+FRU) on gastric emptying (GE), fluid delivery, and markers of hydration status during moderate intensity exercise. Eight male subjects (age=24 +/- 2 years, weight=74.5 +/- 1.2 kg, VO(2max)=62.6 +/- 2.5 mL/kg/min) performed three 120 min cycling bouts at 61% VO(2max)). Subjects ingested GLU, GLU+FRU (both delivering 1.5 g/min carbohydrate), or WATER throughout exercise, ingesting 2.1 L. Serial dye dilution measurements of GE were made throughout exercise and subjects ingested 5.00 g of D(2)O and 150 mg of (13)C-acetate at 60 min to obtain measures of fluid uptake and GE, respectively. GLU+FRU resulted in faster rates of deuterium accumulation, an earlier time to peak in the (13)C enrichment of expired air and a faster rate of GE compared with GLU. GLU+FRU also attenuated the rise in heart rate that occurred in GLU and WATER and resulted in lower ratings of perceived exertion. There was a greater loss in body weight with GLU corrected for fluid intake. These data suggest that ingestion of a combined GLU+FRU solution increases GE and "fluid delivery" compared with a glucose only solution.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rock show

Kings of Leon put on a pretty kick ass show last night in Nashville and as a result I've been struggling a bit today. before the show however, Sarah and I had to get some food so we hit up Jack's Bar-B-Que, considered by many to be the best 'que around. It did not disappoint.

Nothing better than 24 oz cans!:

The rock stars:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

ISS, Hugh's lucky break, and a trip to the Music City

Fun times at the office this morning as I had to go check out a problem on a piece of hardware that is scheduled to go up on the space station this summer. There was an issue with the coating on a rack loaded with a bunch of experiments so I got called over to diagnose the problem. Fun times...

In other news the folks from People wanted to give me this title but I had to decline. I figure with the struggling economy and all Hugh Jackman's new blockbuster Australia probably wont gross very much and he'll be needing all the free publicity he can get.

Lastly, I'm headed to Nashville for a concert this evening. Thats right, a concert on a school night. Moreover, Nashville is 2h away so it looks like no training after work or tomorrow morning which I cant say that I mind.

Monday, November 17, 2008


S: 15,300 yds
B: 58min
R: 1h 4min
Pushups: 70
Situps: 200

Total: 5h 52min

I made it to the pool a few times but other than that it was a very relaxing week. I wouldve skipped that too but I'm just not good enough of a swimmer to stay out of the water for very long.

So about those pushups... during the day on Friday I was planning on going for a run after work. However on the way home I pulled an audible and swung by Publix for a Sam Adams seasonal selection 12 pack instead. I was very pleased with my decision but while watching PTI after I got home I decided it would be a good idea to knock out some pushups in hopes of improving my slightly less than massive physique. My initial plan was to do 100 in sets of 20 with 40 crunches in between each set for good measure. I figured the 100 would be tough but was confident I could get through them.

The first set was hard but I completed it with relative ease. The second was was quite a bit more difficult, causing me to take an extended pause before beginning my third set. The third set was admittedly a struggle but after eeking out the last one I realized I was over half way there and just had two more sets to go. I was pumped up and started the forth set with considerably less rest than I had prior to the third set. The result was that I made it to ten before falling on my face, lying on the floor for a while, and watching the rest of PTI without anymore pushups.

The next morning I went to swim with the kids and did a few 400IMs. The combination of those two foolish activities caused my poor chest to be sore throughout the weekend and up to this morning.

Friday, November 14, 2008

B double E double R-U-N

So yeah, this week has been pretty relaxing and very productive. Its amazing how much you can get done around the apartment with an extra 20 hours a week! While I did get plenty of mundane cleaning done, I also made some kick ass banana bread with walnuts and chocolate chips:

As for today, instead of heading home for a run, I swung by Publix to pick up some beer because, well, it is Friday and I have no schedule. The best part though was that when I got in the car for the drive home, this song was on the radio:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Post Race Pics!

Sis and Bro:

The fan club:

Jodi with the two sandbaggers, Lauren Harrison (left) and Lindsey Jerdonek (right). Needless to say, they both had awesome races and DOMINATED their respective AGs:

Tristan "T-Pain" Brown, Bruce "Dont knock my IRONMAN tat" Gennari, and Ben "Folds Five" Harper. I'll let you fill in the caption on this one:

After the awards, it was off the to the bar. For this next pic, I'd just like to apologize to Amanda Balding and Erin Krummer...

Me, Katie, and my good friend, Mojito.

After the bar, where else but IHOP! Bruce and rockstar Cindi Bannick:

And of course, what RR would be complete without food?? Nothing like a western omlette and buttermilk pancakes at 2AM:

Monday, November 10, 2008

70.3 World Champs Race Report

Before diving into this, I have to give a big "Thank You" to my sister, Katie, for picking me up from the airport and driving me around on Friday. She had to put up with my impatience/anxiety/drama-queen-esque attitude most of the day on Friday as we had to rush around to take care of all of the usual pre-race nonsense.

As for the actual race... Saturday early morning went off without a blip. I went through my usual routine and was feeling calm, confident, and focused. I was feeling great about my training and was ready to put it all together and EXECUTE because I knew if I did that I'd have a good result.

After a swim in the Gulf, I found myself on the beach at the start line for the World Championships. It was a picturesque setting with the sun rising and a calm ocean in front of us. The cannon sounded and we were off. I didnt have a great start and was a bit boxed in. By about 1/4 of the way into the swim I had found some open water and settled into my rhythm. Unfortunately I had been boxed in and had already lost contact with the front pack so I spent the rest of the race swimming by myself. I could see the other swimmers ahead and although I thought I was catching them I could never quite close the gap.

Coming out of the water I was a little dissapointed with the time but hoped I wasnt too far down. After a quick transition I was out onto the bike. It was a crisp day and I was ready to DOMINATE the bike ride. After 7 miles or so a couple of guys passed me and went about 50 meters up the road. However, they werent really pulling away and by the 15 mile mark I had almost caught back up to them. By this time I was feeling great and more importantly, moving FAST. My first 5 miles had been a bit slow at just under 12:30 but the next two 5 mile splits were both under 12 minutes. Additionally, I was feeling really good and even hoping to open it up around mile 40 and negative split the ride. The next few segments continued this sub 12 min 5 mile trend and I was looking forward to a nice PR on the bike.

Then, around mile 32, it happened. I heard the sound everyone dreads when they are on a bike. Within seconds, my rear wheel was unstable and I was forced to pull over and stop. I immediately got to work popping the wheel off the bike and fixing the flat all the while trying to keep a good attitude and reminding myself that even if I lose a couple of minutes, I can still have a decent finish. I finished the pit stop NASCAR style and soon enough I was back on the bike.

As I got up to speed, I was pleased with the efficiency of my change and was still determined to have a good ride, even with the stop. I knew I couldnt make up the time I had lost but I could still turn in a solid time by simply staying focused and riding strong.

Then no more than 5 minutes later, it happened again. This time however, it was the front tire and the air screaming out of the tube was taking my chances for a decent finish with it. Somewhat luckily I was close to the bike preem where there was an official with a race radio who called for support. He asked if I wanted to continue a couple of times, almost like he thought I wanted a ride back. I just wanted a tube... the thought of not finishing hadnt crossed my mind.

Needless to say I was pretty upset but at that point, what could I do? Not much so I sat down and watched male and female pros scream past while waiting for tech support. As I sat there I was determined not to let the unfortunate turn of events ruin my day. I sat there, soaked up some sun, and was just happy to be able to be out racing in a World Championships in beautiful weather, nonetheless.

Eventually the tech support came, I got my flat fixed, and I was off. The temporary lull had come and gone and now I had to find a way to get going again after a 20 minute break. The remainder of the ride was strange. I was racing, but almost in the twilight zone as in the last 20+ miles I saw a grand total of 2 competitors: pro women who I passed. I was actually worried about a cop not paying attention and letting someone pull out in front of me as I was screaming home. I did have a redneck in a pickup truck try to cut me off but the cop was luckily on top of it.

Finally, I arrived back in transition at which time I was greeted by the announcer with, "and it looks like we have another of our female pros finishing up the bike ride!" Awesome. Incidentally, my bike splits from IM live tell the story:

BIKE SPLIT 1 20.7 mi. (49:54) 24.89 mph
BIKE SPLIT 2 20.3 mi. (1:09:06) 17.63 mph
BIKE SPLIT 3 15 mi. (35:00) 25.71 mph
TOTAL BIKE 56 mi. (2:34:00) 21.82 mph

The run actually started with some excitement as when I started my run Terenzo, who was in 1st place, had just started his 2nd lap of the run but the 2nd place male was still on his 1st lap. So it appeared, for those not paying attention, that I was in 2nd place. I actually had the NBC guys taping me for a solid mile or so until the following conversation took place:

NBC Cameraman: I'm assuming you are in second place...
Me (smiling): Nope, I'm just on my first lap!

At that point the cameraman mumbled something to the driver and the motorcycle sped away. So much for the pub. A bit later, I caught Terenzo and we had a little conversation:

Me: Dont worry, dude. I got two flats and am on my first lap.
Terenzo (In Aussie accent): You just made me shit my pants!

The second lap was considerably less exciting and I lost a little focus in the middle of it. It was kind of hard to push through those hard miles when I knew my time was still going to be slower than a number of girls. But I made it to a mile to go, had a pretty decent last mile, and was more than happy to finish.

Immediately afterward I apologized to Terenzo for making him soil himself and went over and talked with my awesome family members. Everyone was really supportive, including my cousin, Aiden, who is about 5 years old and asked, "Andrew, what took you so long??"

I'll fill in some details (hopefully with pics) about the rest of the day later, but thats all I've got for now. While I was certainly disappointed to not be able to showcase my fitness, I still had a good time celebrating an otherwise successful season with friends and family.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Checking in from Clearwater

I had a pretty uneventful trip down yesterday. Katie picked me up from the airport and then we bolted straight to Chipotle which was everything I wanted... and more... probably because I was going through withdraw.

Anyway, right now we're off to meet some members of the posse for a swim which will surely be followed by some pancakes which will then of course be followed by all the normal pre-race nonsense. At least the weather down here is awesome. Not a cloud in the sky with the highs in the upper 70s. Gotta love Florida in November. Well... time for a swim!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cruising into Clearwater

Now that new socialist regime has been elected, I figure I might as well quit my job and do the triathlon thing full time. Why not? I mean with all this "redistribution of wealth" that has been touted, where is the motivation to work hard?

As for triathlon related issues... tapering is awesome. I had a nice run last night and swim this morning and should be ready to rip on Saturday. Tomorrow I'm flying down to Tampa where my awesome sister will pick me up and shuttle me and my bike to Clearwater. I get in at 6PM which means it should be just about time for dinner as we pass by the Clearwater Mall en route from the airport to our hotel. Why is this important? Well, it just so happens it would appear that across the street from the Clearwater Mall is Chipotle. I havent had the pleasure of a Chipotle burrito since I was in Kansas for the 70.3 in June so I'll definitely be looking forward to some goodness. Yummy!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


If you live in the US and are a citizen... get out and vote. And thats all I have to say about that.

Monday, November 3, 2008


S: 27,200 yds
B: 8h 28min
R: 2h 12min

Total: 17h 28min

The last semblance of training is in the bank and now it is full on taper time. Last week went pretty well and things are pointing towards a good race this weekend. Really though I'm just looking forward to seeing how I stack up against the huge field. There are around 65 male pros on the start list so I will hopefully have plenty of people around me in the race to keep things interesting. Also, being the last race of the season, I certainly want to end on a good note so there will be that extra bit of motivation as well.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Sunday Sunday

Well it is officially taper time for Clearwater. Yesterday I had a nice 2:45h ride + transition run which went well. With the race being on Saturday, I got that last longish tune up out of the way yesterday so I just had a swim and easy bike today. It was great to not have to do the usual long ride today and I enjoyed the extra relaxation time. This included watching coverage of IMAZ and the New York City Marathon on TV which were on at the same time. Its not often you see an IM and marathon on TV at the same time... pretty cool! While the IM did have an unusually close finish, I have to admit the marathon was still more exciting to watch. Of course part of that couldve been due to the TV coverage (NBC vs Versus) but who knows...

Only a few days of work this week and then its off to Clearwater!